A Greek Gold and Garnet Pendant, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd - 1st century BCE
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Medium: Gold, Garnet
Dimensions: Pendant: 4 x 3 mm. Strung on a 22" adjustable 14k gold chain.
This pretty pendant of high karat gold illustrates the change in jewelry style that occurred during the second century BCE. Though handled with great finesse, gold now becomes the backdrop for displaying precious stones, such as the garnet in this example. Garnets were much cherished in ancient times for their color and their amuletic powers. No doubt originally part of a necklace, the design of this pendant relies on striking contrasts in color. Here, the cabochon oval garnet is set in a bezel of high karat gold, the front with a circle of granulation that further highlights the gemstone. The suspension loop connected above well compliments the modern 18" adjustable chain of 18K gold.
Condition: Some wear to the gold bezel, the garnet is intact
Provenance: Paul I. Ilton (1904-1958) private collection and then by descent to his son, Arie Ilton. Born in Germany and educated in Universities Cologne and Berlin, Ilton moved to Palestine in 1934 becoming a Palestinian citizen, conducting continuous archaeological research in Palestine, Trans-Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Hedjaz-At and assembling a personal collection that was published in 1958. With the outbreak of World War II, he entered the British Information Service in Jerusalem and served with the rank of captain until 1946 when he took up permanent residence in the United States lecturing at both New York University and Cornell University.